Is my departure guaranteed?
Please note there is a minimum of two participants in order to guarantee each departure. Please wait until you've received confirmation from Encounters Travel before making any travel arrangements.
Are private departures available?
Yes, we have private departures available on this trip! Private departures offer more flexibility to travel when it suits your group. Additional costs may apply and dates are subject to availability. Please contact our Adventures Team to explore pricing and check on availability.
How do I get to the trip start location? Will someone be at the airport to meet me?
Plan to fly into the Amman airport (AMM) in Jordan and out of Cairo (CAI) airport in Egypt. You'll also need to arrange a flight from Amman to Cairo. This can be included in your main international flight ticket or purchased separately from Encounters Travel. A representative from Encounters Travel will be in the airports to meet you and provide transfers to and from the hotels. If preferred, please contact Encounters Travel for assistance booking flights.
What will the accommodations be like?
Accommodation is based on twin or double en-suite rooms with air conditioning. All couples will be given a private double room. Single travelers may choose to pay a single room supplement to guarantee themselves a single room throughout the tour. Alternatively, they may choose to share a room with one or two other travelers of the same sex. If you are happy to share, then you will only need to pay the single room supplement if Encounters Travel is unable to pair you up.
In Egypt you'll stay at good quality hotels rated at the local 3 and 4-star levels, along with a Nubian Guest house in Aswan, while accommodation in Jordan is in 3-star hotels, with optional upgrades available to 4/5-star. In Wadi Rum you'll stay at a comfortable Bedouin camp located on the desert sands, against the cliffs. Accommodation is in permanent traditional goat hair tents with proper beds and all bedding provided. Bathrooms are separate, though en-suite tents are also available and upgrades are available if required. You can also bring a sleeping bag if you wish, and find a sheltered spot on the rocks on the edge of the camp and sleep under the stars.
One night in Egypt is spent sleeping on the deck of a traditional Nile felucca sailboat. Mattresses and blankets are provided but you should bring a sleeping bag for the winter months of November to February.
The following hotels are typically used:
Rum Art Hotel or similar- Amman
La Maison or similar - Petra
Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp - Wadi Rum
Zayed Hotel or similar - Giza
Nubian Guesthouse - Aswan
Etabe Hotel or similar – Luxor
Zayed Hotel or similar - Giza
Can solo travelers get their own room? Is there a single supplement fee?
Single travelers may choose to pay a single room supplement to guarantee themselves a single room throughout the tour. Alternatively, you may choose to share a room with another travelers of the same sex. If there are no other single travelers available for you to pair up with at the time of your booking the supplement will be due for payment but will be refunded if a share becomes available later. Please contact our Adventure team to explore pricing and check on availability.
How large is each travel group?
The maximum group size is 32 (minimum 2, average 8-12).
Are meals included? What is the food like?
Meals included in this trip are indicated in the itinerary. The food will be served in the various accommodations and will generally be buffet style with a mix of different local Jordanian end Egyptian cuisines. Options vary from day to day and generally include a mix of international and local dishes. If you have any specific dietary needs, please contact Encounters Travel prior to your trip for more details.
What kind of travel documents are required?
When purchasing or gifting this trip please be sure to list name(s) exactly as given on your passport(s). You'll need a valid passport with at least six months remaining before expiration. Egyptian visas are currently available on arrival for US citizens for a fee. In Jordan, visas are available free of charge as part of the Jordan Pass which also includes all the entrance fees to sites visited on the tour. You should obtain your Jordan Pass online before you travel at www.jordanpass.jo.
What should I pack?
The following are some suggested packing tips provided by Encounters Travel:
Luggage: Suitcases, rucksacks or fabric duffel bags are all fine to bring with you to Egypt and Jordan. You should also bring a small daypack/bag to take out during the day. Your main luggage will normally be left in the hotel during your sightseeing trips - you won't need to carry it far, and there are nearly always hotel porters to assist.
Clothing: Most of your time in Egypt will be in a hot weather, while the climate in Jordan varies widely from hot days in the summer to cool and sometimes wet days in the winter months. However, at night, and especially in the deserts, the temperatures can drop quite dramatically. So you must pack for cool conditions. Formal dress (eg. suits & ties) is not required on the cruise boats or in 4 or 5-star hotel restaurants. Long sleeves are recommended to protect from mosquitoes if you are on the felucca. Modesty rates highly in Egypt and Jordan, especially for women, so to respect the local culture and people, please ensure all clothes are loose fitting and not revealing. Shorts (not hot-pants) are okay in tourist sites, as are t-shirts, but these should not show too much bare flesh (we suggest that your shoulders should remain covered). In the center of Cairo and Amman, and when visiting any mosques, legs and arms should be covered.
Other items: It is recommended that you bring a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a basic first aid kit, toiletries, small towel, money belt, small torch, camera and charger. For travel on the felucca sailboat in Egypt, it is recommended that you bring a light sleeping sheet or sleeping bag liner all year round for comfort, and a light sleeping bag in the winter months (November to February). For the night in the Bedouin camp in Jordan, bedding (sheets, blankets, pillow) is provided but it is recommended you bring a light sleeping sheet or sleeping bag liner for comfort all year round (even with the best efforts, sand does find its way pretty much everywhere). In the winter months, or if you think you would like to sleep under the stars instead of in your tent, then you should plan to bring a sleeping bag with you as it can get very cold at night.
Footwear: For tours that are going on board a felucca sailboat, or walking on the Siq Trail in Wadi Mujib, plan to bring some footwear that you don't mind getting completely wet. There is a fair amount of walking involved, whether that be sightseeing or hiking, so you should plan to bring comfortable walking shoes as well.
How much extra money should people budget?
The local currency in Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JD). You do not need to arrange to bring any Jordanian Dinar with you to Jordan, as exchange facilities are available in the international airports and in most hotels, banks and bureau de changes in major towns.
The local currency in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound, often denoted 'LE'. The Egyptian Pound can vary significantly in value against the British Pound, but sticks fairly close to the value of the US Dollar. You do not need to arrange to bring any Egyptian Pounds with you to Egypt, as change facilities are available in all the hotels, airports and banks.
You should try to obtain and keep hold of small denomination notes or coins on you during the tour as these are useful for toilets, tips and small purchases. ATMs are readily available in major towns and many local shops will accept VISA/Mastercard or Amex, but may charge fees of up to 10% - check before you pay. Traveler's checks are not recommended as they can not be changed in many places now, and can incur high fees.
You'll need sufficient funds to cover meals not included in the itinerary, drinks, snacks, souvenirs and personal expenses such as laundry. These should generally all be paid for in Egyptian Pounds or Jordanian Dinar. You may also need to pay for the tour Tipping Kitty and site entrance fees. Payments for these may be made to your tour guide in hard currency (USD, GBP, EUR) at the start of your tour. Please see your the Price Includes/Does not Include section for more information and guidelines on what to budget for.
Are there additional activities that customers can purchase?
There are several add-on adventures you can take during this trip, all of which are listed below. Please contact our Adventures Team for pricing and book prior to departure in order to reserve your spot.
Petra by night
This magical experience takes you in through the narrow and winding Siq to the Treasury at the entrance to Petra. The whole route and the sand in front of the Treasury is lit up by numerous candles creating a beautiful and atmospheric sight. While at the Treasury you'll also enjoy some traditional Bedouin music and tea. This activity has to booked and paid for once you are in country.
Abu Simbel overland
The temples built by Ramses II at Abu Simbel are one of Egypt's highlights, and have a fascinating story behind them to go with their impressive size. When Lake Nasser was flooded, the final water level was going to submerge several temples, the most important of which being Abu Simbel. The temple was therefore dismantled completely and rebuilt further up the hillside where it sits today. The temple stands today as a testament to Ramses II and the great building prowess of the ancient Egyptians, as well as to modern engineering. You will depart Aswan early in the morning to join an escorted convoy which departs Aswan at around 4:30. This gets you to Abu Simbel to see the temples in the light of the rising sun, and you will then have a guided tour with an Egyptologist and some free time before you drive back to Aswan (approx. 3 hours drive each way, with around 2 hours at the temples). All transfers, guide, and entrance fees are included. The tour itinerary is designed so you will not miss any other activities if you choose this option. Note - the overland route is chosen to get to Abu Simbel as the flight times there are unreliable and the journey using the flight is much more segmented (you get more rest on the coach), not to mention it is much more expensive to fly.
Hot air balloon in Luxor
This popular optional tour starts early in the morning so that you experience the sunrise over the Valleys of the Kings & Queens, temples and desert. We endeavor to use the earliest flights of the day as they are timed to fit with the rising sun, this means that times may vary. You get around 1 hour in the air.
Egyptian Museum & Bazaar tour
This half day guided tour of Cairo tour spends a couple of hours exploring the huge Egyptian Museum with your Egyptology guide providing insights and information into the various displays, including the incredible Tutankhamun collection. You'll then walk through the busy back streets and various different markets of the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar, a perfect chance to secure some souvenirs of your time in Egypt. Prices shown are based on a minimum of 2 people traveling. Solo traveler supplements apply. The tour takes place on Day 13, so a late afternoon or evening flight departure is required, or an additional night's accommodation to be booked.
Karnak Temple Tour
This tour takes you to the huge Karnak Temple Complex for a guided tour with an experienced Egyptologist. You'll see the avenue of Sphinxes, huge columns in the Hippostyle Hall, temples dedicated to different gods, obelisks and much more.
Felucca to Hotel upgrade
If you would like some more comfort in place of sleeping on the felucca, then this option provides an extra night in the Aswan hotel after you've spend the afternoon on the boat. You then rejoin the rest of the group after they finish on the felucca the next morning.
Amman – evening food tasting tour
This evening tour of Amman provides a great taste of traditional Jordanian food. You'll take a walk down Rainbow Street and through Downtown Amman, checking out the various local restaurants and street food available. Your guide will give you plenty of explanations of what is on offer, and what are the local favorites. During the tour you can try several different dishes, starting with a snack of either Manakish (with its various toppings of egg, white cheese or za'atar) or a classic falafel sandwich. Then in Downtown Amman you can try a main meal, perhaps the Jordanian national dish of Mansaf, slow cooked lamb with rice and yogurt sauce. Finally you'll try one of the city's famous desserts like Knafeh from one the popular local sweet shops. All 3 dishes are included in the price of the tour, plus transfers to and from your hotel, but you'll need to pay for your own drinks. A supplement will apply if there is only one person on the tour. The tour can also be booked locally, subject to availability of guides & transport.
Superior level hotel upgrade (Jordan section)
This option upgrades all your hotels on the Jordan section of the tour from the local Jordan 3-star level to 5-star. At the Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum you stay in en-suite tents instead of those with shared facilities. The specific hotels used may vary on different dates but include the Landmark and Le Grand in Amman, and the Old Village or Hyatt Zaman Resort in Petra. The Petra hotels can be considered a good 4-star level despite their official 5-star rating.
Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis
This half day guided tour on the outskirts of Cairo tour provides more insight into the history and evolution of pyramid building, and of the Egyptian civilization. These tours are based in the area of ancient Memphis, a former capital of Egypt. First you'll visit Saqqara, a huge desert necropolis which was built for the kings and nobles of the Old Kingdom. Here you'll see Zoser's 'step' pyramid and the adjacent Imhotep museum where we learn more about Memphis and the history of the region. Next you head to Dashour to see one of the next attempts at pyramid building. Dashour's moniker of the 'bent pyramid' shows they still had a bit to learn, but this is a fascinating site and the pyramid still has much of its original limestone cladding. You'll then return you to your hotel.
The tour takes place on Day 13, so a late afternoon or evening flight departure is required, or an additional night's accommodation to be booked.
Luxor museum tour
The Luxor Museum has a much smaller collection than the huge Egyptian Museum in Cairo, but the collection is beautifully displayed and includes some very important and impressive specimens. These include a huge red granite head of Amenhotep III, a calcite double statue of the crocodile god Sobek and some items from Tutankhamun's tomb such as boats, sandals and arrows. There are also some items from the periods after the end of Pharaonic Egypt. The museum is normally open in the mornings from 9am-2pm and then in the evenings from 5pm-9pm. Your guide will advise you of current opening times and arrange a guided visit to fit around your other sightseeing. Your entrance ticket and transfers to and from your hotel are included.
Should I purchase travel insurance? If so, do you have a recommended provider?
Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on this tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided Encounters Travel with details of your insurance or if you arrive without coverage in place (no refunds will be due in this event). You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.
If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered. Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full coverage including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude. If you are taking expensive camera gear or other electronic equipment with you then please check the coverage and the fine print of your policy to ensure that you have sufficient coverage.
We recommend VisitorsCoverage as a travel insurance provider.
Are there special requirements for entry into the destination I am visiting?
We recommend you visit the local government websites where you plan to travel and review the required documentation for entry, current restrictions, and general recommendations for travel within the area. We encourage you to also visit your home country's embassy website if you are traveling to a foreign country. Requirements can change rapidly. Please be sure you stay abreast of the requirements and restrictions for anywhere you plan to visit. You can also enroll in the U.S. government’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and you will be sent updates if the situation in your destination changes. You can find the program link at https://step.state.gov/.
Can I cancel or modify the trip?
Yes! Book confidently with Free Cancellations within 72 hours of booking. After 72 hours, cancellation fees will apply.
New For 2021 Departures: We’re providing more flexible booking options on this trip.
Up to 60 days prior to departure*
You may postpone or modify your trip up to 60 days prior to departure.
You will have the option to:
1) Select a new travel date. Additional trip costs may apply.
2) Receive 100% lifetime store credit toward a future trip.
Up to 30 days prior to departure
You may postpone or modify your trip up to 30 days prior to departure.
You will have the option to:
1) Select a new travel date. Additional trip costs may apply.
2) Receive lifetime store credit toward a future trip. Standard cancellation fees will apply.
Less than 30 days prior to departure
In some cases, you may have the option to postpone your trip within 30 days prior to departure.
If this is available at the time of your request, you will have the option to:
1) Select a new travel date. Additional trip costs may apply and new dates are subject to availability, or
2) Receive a lifetime store credit toward a future trip. Standard cancellation fees will apply.
For more information on our Travel Cancellation Policy please Click Here.